Families, others get a chance to give back at York County Food Bank

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

During a season of giving, Central York Middle School student Kendall Payne wanted to give back to the community in some small way. 

“I just wanted to come help out the families who couldn’t get food,” Kendall said. “I feel pretty good about it. I like helping out people.” 

The 14-year-old was among the volunteers, young and old, putting together Give-A-Meal holiday meal boxes Saturday at the York County Food Bank. 

Kendall Payne, a student at Central York middle school, on left, and Andrea Berry, superintendent at York City School District, on right, setting up boxes at the York County Food bank's family volunteering day in York on Dec. 3, 2022.

The food bank suspended its age requirement for volunteering for one day to allow families with younger children get the chance to volunteer. 

Kelly Greer, of Dover, brought her two oldest children, Bennett, 7, and Adley, 6, to help assemble some of the 3,000 boxes the York County Food Bank intends to distribute through area school districts during the holiday season. 

Greer, who homeschools her children, was looking for a service project they could do for Christmas as part of their schooling. 

“We Googled ‘Volunteering in York County’ and this came up as our first option,” Greer said. “So, I reached out and asked if they had anything kids could do. And they just happened to have a family day and so, here we are.” 

Kelly, on left, and Bennett Greer, age 7,on right, from Dover, helping out at the York County Food bank's family volunteering day in York on Dec. 3, 2022.

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York City School District Superintendent Andrea Berry also wanted to give back to an organization that has given so much to the students in her district. 

“The Food Bank has always been a great partner before, during and after COVID. Whenever we’ve called on them or asked for assistance with them, they’ve been there,” Berry said. “This was a small token, a way for me as a person and as a school district official to be able to give back for what they have done for so many of our families.” 

Zach Wolgemuth, director of programs for the York County Food Bank, said Saturday was one of the special days they have during the year to allow families to volunteer together. 

“The holiday meal boxes are for our Give-A-Meal program,” Wolgemuth said. “The Give-A-Meal program has been in existence for a number of years. We work with all the schools and school districts throughout the county to provide a holiday meal for low-income families within the schools.” 

As part of that distribution, a box of food is given to prepare a meal for six to eight people, Wolgemuth said. A $20 grocery store gift card is also included for families to purchase their choice of protein 

Most York County school districts, as well as some private and charter schools, participate in the Give-A-Meal program. 

“It’s a pretty significant program. We’d like to expand it as we can,” Wolgemuth said. “We know there are individuals out there that, unfortunately, are not aware of this being offered. So, we are trying to work with the schools so that the messaging is getting out to the families with school-aged children throughout the county.”